New cotton varieties under the microscope in the Macintyre

19 March, 2010

More than 30 Macintyre Valley irrigators, consultants and other industry personnel attended a field day near Boggabilla to view Cotton Seed Distributors new range of varieties due for release in 2010.

CSD agronomist David Kelly told growers the new varieties were a part of the long term progression for improvements in yield and fibre quality.

“The Sicot 71 group of varieties have caused a massive increase in everyone’s yield expectations since their release and have been such an important part of the industry during the past decade.”

“The most recent addition, the Sicot 71BRF has been the most popular variety this season and it’s looking particularly good with plenty of people reporting fruit counts over 150 bolls per metre.”

“Our data on Sicot 71BRF coming into this season showed it had a similar yield to Sicot 71BR, the variety it replaced, but with big improvements in staple length and micronaire.”

“The new varieties due for release this season are CSX326BRF and CSX323BRF – they haven’t been officially named yet, and also Siokra 24BRF.

According to David Kelly, the CSX323BRF had a slightly more vigorous growth habit to Sicot 71BRF and had shown an improvement in yield, particular in warmer regions.

“CSIRO data shows that in regions such as the Macintyre and the Balonne it has averaged five percent better yield than Sicot 71BRF over the past two years – so a significant jump.”

“We’re evaluating this variety in more than 40 commercial-sized variety trials this year so we’ll see if these results are replicated.”

“CSX326BRF is a close relative of CSX232BRF. It’s a few percent lower yielding but has premium fibre quality – similar to that of Sicala 350B but without the yield drag.”

“This variety, following of from Sicala 350B, is aimed at giving growers and merchants new opportunities in marketing our cotton.”

“Siokra 24BRF is a big, vigorous okra-leafed variety that’s probably better suited to dryland but may be useful for growers in semi-irrigated situations or fields planted as a punt, plus its okra leaves make it less attractive to pests such as mites and silverleaf whitefly.”

Quantities of the three new varieties may be limited but, according to David Kelly, there should be the opportunity for everyone to try some.

“In past seasons we’ve held a members ballot to fairly distribute quantities of our new varieties – where everyone gets enough seed to try it commercially on their farm, so we may need to do something similar with these new ones.”

David Kelly said defoliation had started in the 38,000 hectare Macintyre cotton crop and, weather permitting, expected picking to be in full swing by the second week of April.

19 March 2010

Further Information:
David Kelly 0428 950021

Above: Catching up at the CSD field walk near Boggabilla are Bankwest’s Dimity Jamieson, CGS’s Geoff Jamieson, Bruce Bailey ‘Hazeldene, and agronomist Andrew Arthurs.